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Creating a Pandemic of Virtual Greetings & Goodwill

We can never thrive behind masks: real, imagined or imposed.  Photo credit: Jeremiah Luke from unsplash

— I extend a virtual handshake to you all and wish you a great day, wherever you are. —

These are stressful times. Some of us have been directly affected by the dastardly virus. Others are in seclusion waiting for the hammer to fall, or not. There are those amongst us who are trying to continue as normal, (whatever the new normal is). Mundane and reflexive bodily functions are like loose hand grenades. Sneezes are time-bombs. Joggers, close talkers and huggers are imminent threats. We are living in a time when the polite handshake is to be avoided, a hug — evaded, a high-five — eschewed, a kiss — is more like a death wish. With this common-sense breaking of societal norms, a pandemic of suspicion has silently crept in.

Are people with masks avoiding the virus or actually sick?

Are people without masks deliberately — with malice — defying the new norm?

Are people — healthy one day, and sick the next — calculating their routes to maximise exposure?

It's easy to fall prey to dark thoughts and paranoia, when the stakes are so high, and our instincts to protect our home, family and friends kick into high gear. When change happens so quickly and so drastically, and the very core of the societal fabric — the friendly greeting — is suddenly and abruptly abandoned, we should not be surprised that the pandemic of suspicion is abound. So, how do we keep our normalcy? How do we maintain our humanity? I think that the way to counter the pandemic of suspicion is to obliterate it with a pandemic of virtual greetings and goodwill.

Whether you are behind a mask, or in your home. Whether you are in the street or in a store. Whether you are on the phone, or logged online, I suggest to do the following:

When you encounter another person — masked or not — declare out loud that you extend them a virtual handshake or hug or whatever you would have done B.C. (Before Covid19).

When you leave them, do the same, and wish them a great day. Make sure that your encounters are not just rushed, veiled discussions. Remember that each one of us — in our core — wants to be acknowledged for who we are, and what we represent to one another. We don't, can't and will never thrive behind masks — real, imagined or imposed one-way-or-another. Even now, when it seems like there is no choice but to take care — make sure to show that you care.

Have a great day!

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